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Triple-I Blog | California warned of Mudslide Risk's Winter Bears Downon Wildfire Areas



California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara warns citizens to review their insurance policies to protect themselves and their assets in anticipation of winter weather, leading to the risk of floods, mudslides, debris flows and other disasters to recent burn areas throughout [1

9659002] The Commissioner issued a notice to insurers reminding them of their obligation to cover damage from future mudslides or similar disasters caused by recent forest fires that have weakened the slopes. In particular, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has estimated an increased probability of debris flow for volcanic areas in the state during heavy rainfall.

Many Californians may not be aware that homeowners and commercial insurers usually rule out flood, mud, debris and other similar disasters – unless they are directly or indirectly caused by a new wildfire or other hazard covered by applicable insurance. For insurance purposes, it is important to understand the difference between "mudslides" and "mudflow".

Clay occurs when a mass of earth or rock moves downhill, which is driven by gravity. They usually do not contain enough liquid to seep into your home, and they are not eligible for flood insurance. In fact, the mud of is not covered by any policy.

Mudflow is covered by flood insurance, which is available from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and a growing number of private insurance companies. Like flooding, mudflows are excluded from regular homeowners and business insurers – you must purchase coverage separately.

The California Department of Insurance has published a fact sheet for consumers to answer questions about what their insurance covers.

mudflowmudslide

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